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Rotten World of Legal Citation: Link Rot and Reference Rot


Excerpt: “Rotten World of Legal Citation,” July 31st, 2014 by sadavis:

In the past few years, the issue of link rot has become a growing concern in relation to broken links in legal citations, most notably in U.S. Supreme Court decisions. Two articles that discuss this problem in detail are:

1) Raizel Liebler & June Liebert, Something Rotten in the State of Legal Citation: The Life of a United States Supreme Court Citation Containing an Internet Link (1996-2010), 15 Yale J.L. & Tech. 273 (2013). Available at (finding that 29% of websites cited in US Supreme Court opinions no longer worked);

2) Jonathan Zittrain, Kendra Albert & Lawrence Lessig, Perma: Scoping and Addressing the Problem of Link and Reference Rot in Legal Citations, 127 Harv. L. Rev. F. 176 (2014). Available at (finding that 49.9% of websites cited in US Supreme Court opinions and 29.9-34.2% cited in three law reviews no longer linked to the originally cited material – at 180, 186).... [Link to full Rotten World blog post.]

Wikipedia: Link Rot

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